NEW YORK – Edwin Encarnacion moved from last place in the American West League to first place in the Eastern League.
Naturally, he was very excited about it.
The veteran slugger was not touched in his debut with the Yankees Monday night against Tampa Bay in the first game of a three-game series. But he received a warm ovation from the audience of 39,042 spectators and New York won 3-0 to compete for a game and a half in front of the Rays.
"He could have picked another place, I would be fine," Kevin Cash, the Tampa Bay coach, joked before the game.
By beating the fifth position as a designated hitter, Encarnacion went 0 for 4 in pinstripes. He hit in the 10th throw of his first game in the second inning against Yonny Chirinos.
"I've seen a lot of ground, I feel good, I miss only a few pitches that I know I can hit," Encarnacion said. "It's part of the game, I'll get them tomorrow."
Acquired from Seattle in an exchange late Saturday night, Encarnacion joined the Yankees on Monday and began the day of the American League's lead with 21 home runs. He said that he was expecting to be shipped by the seafarers, but did not think he would end up in New York.
When he got the news, he was surprised and pleased to be sent into a team in the first place.
"I play the game to win and it's exciting to be part of a team that fights and is doing so well right now," Encarnacion said through an interview. translator.
Encarnacion, 36, beat behind catcher Gary Sanchez, who finished second in the AHL with 20 races. And while Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are about to return from the injured list, the Yankees are about to prepare one of the most powerful baseball formations.
"I can not wait to see that, it's going to be fun," Encarnacion said. "We're going to do a lot of circuits, and we're going to win a lot of games as well."
Managing director Brian Cashman acknowledged that some might have been surprised to see the Yankees add another big wand when it is clear that they are looking to improve a run-out of exhausted pitchers by July 31st. But he said that the Encarnacion movement would not prevent that.
"I have more work to do," said Cashman. "We will be aggressive, we are always aggressive, we just want to be smart aggressive."
Stanton must be wiped off the list of injured on Tuesday, and the judge could follow in a few days. Upon their return, and with Encarnacion as the designated hitter, Stanton should play a lot on the left field, making veteran Brett Gardner primarily a fourth driver with a part-time role on the bench.
"We have a great team and with these two animals coming back, it will be even more powerful.An even better team," Sanchez said through a translator. We must stay healthy and continue to play baseball. "
Cashman pointed out that the addition of Encarnacion would give manager Aaron Boone even more opportunities to rest the best players and keep them fresh while mixing and matching things, something that Boone has "does a great job" despite all the injuries suffered by New York. this season.
"It gives us a lot of coverage in different ways," Cashman said.
Encarnacion went from No. 10 with the Mariners to No. 30 with the Yankees, who retired from No. 10 in honor of Hall of Famer Hall of Fame player Phil Rizzuto.
"It 's very exciting to wear the uniform," said Encarnacion through a translator.
The triple star player has 401 career circuits, making him the third player with at least 400 before joining the Bronx Bombers. Jose Canseco was 440 when he arrived in 2000, and Andruw Jones was 407 when he was awarded in 2011.
"We've seen what he's done to us over time," Cashman said of Encarnacion. "It's a very patient, powerful and powerful bat.His makeup is not in the rankings and it is highly appreciated by his teammates."
As a visitor to the new Yankee Stadium, Encarnacion has completed 18 circuits in 69 games.
"When you play here, every game is packed, so maybe that's why," he said.
Encarnacion started the night with a .241 average and was among the leaders in the league with 49 RBIs and 48 points. He has averaged 37 homers and 109 RBIs in his last seven seasons, and dominates the majors with 322 long balls this decade.
He moved from Cleveland to Seattle last December as part of a three-team deal including Tampa Bay. Cashman said the Yankees knew that the sailors would make Encarnacion available again, so they stayed in touch.
Seattle will send $ 8,397,849 to the Yankees as part of the deal, leaving them to pay $ 8 million out of the remaining $ 16,397,849 guaranteed to Encarnacion at the time of the transaction, or $ 11,397,849 from its $ 20 million salary. this year, plus a $ 5 million buyout for $ 25. million options for 2020. N
ew York sent the 19-year-old pitcher Juan Then to the Mariners.
Given the structure of the transaction, Encarnacion has only $ 3 million for the Yankees' tax burden this year and $ 5 million for 2020.